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agent, editorial services
Kelsey Klosterman
Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency

I’m an editorial-style agent at the Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency looking primarily for young adult (YA) and middle grade (MG) fiction, though I'll take on a picture book if it's really something special! I’m also on the hunt for some good new adult (NA) fiction and graphic novels. My preferred areas for all age groups are fantasy of all types, contemporary fiction, magical realism, speculative fiction, and genre-benders.

I love strong, memorable protagonists who stay with you long after you close the book—think kickass, unapologetic heroines like those in Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series or Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. I want protagonists who subvert stereotypes and expectations, who speak their minds, and who make me wish they were real! I’m here for female characters who don’t denounce femininity for the sake of being strong. Anything with a strong, death-defying bond between its main characters is something I want to take a look at. I prefer stories that include a romantic element but aren’t centered around the romance. I also love stories featuring strong sibling relationships.

I want offbeat characters who force me to care about them no matter what difficult choices they end up making. I love witty, sarcastic humor, and I’m a huge fan of sassy one-liners. I’m always looking for stories about found family and ragtag groups of misfits à la Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows series. I want ensemble casts, especially groups where everyone is close and loving without romance or jealousy in play, like the bunch in Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses series. Zingy humor and a know-it-all voice, as found in the footnotes of Jaw Kristoff’s The Nevernight Chronicle series, are also big winners in my book.

For fantasy, I’m looking for imaginative, high-concept stories—I want to the world to feel complex and real without getting bogged down in information. I love super witchy stories, dark magic, and twisted worlds. I particularly love fantasy worlds inspired by non-western cultures. I’m also a huge fan of low fantasy and seeing the magic hidden away in our world, unseen to us. In general, I’m a fan of the dynamics that come with gods and goddesses, demons, angels, and assassins.

In middle grade, I love having a whimsical element. There’s a silliness in this age group that can’t always be achieved in young adult books. It’s also important to me to represent middle grade that honors the intelligence and creativity of its audience and doesn’t try to “dumb down” the material because it’s for children. I’m always looking for heartfelt, tear-jerker MG stories, and I love dark and creepy middle grade.

In all cases, I’m looking for something fun, fresh, and exciting—a new spin on an old trope, an innovative perspective on an old story. A unique, memorable narrative voice is a must. I want to find stories so delightful that I stay up late and finish them in one sitting.

I strongly prefer diverse casts of characters, and I mean diversity in its broadest sense. I’m particularly drawn to #ownvoices works.

I’m generally not looking for historical novels, particularly war stories or anything set in colonial America. I don’t represent outright horror, mystery, or westerns. I don’t represent nonfiction.

For updates and the occasional #MSWL tweet, follow me on Twitter @klklosterman!


GENRES & SPECIALTIES
Fantasy/science fiction, Juvenile fiction
SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS
Please send your submission to querykelsey@sheedylit.com with “query” and the title of your book in the subject line. Include your query letter and the first one or two chapters pasted in the email—no attachments unless it’s a graphic novel sample, please! Include the word count, genre, target audience, your writing / publishing creds if applicable, whether you’ve had agent representation before, and whether the book is meant to be a standalone or part of a series.

I also appreciate querying authors who highlight any prominent diverse representation in the book, and I prefer to know in detail what those elements are—for example, I prefer to know if a book is an f/f romance or has a bisexual male lead rather than just knowing it has queer representation.

I accept email submissions only; please don’t send me physical queries in the mail. Please query me with only one project at a time, but feel free to mention other projects you have in the works and the kinds of books you love to write!

If they’re not addressed in your initial query, and I request the full manuscript from you, I’ll ask a few standard questions such as your publishing history and whether you’ve had representation before. There are no wrong answers—just information I’ll need down the line.

Please allow two months for me to respond to your initial query. If I don’t get back to you within two months, please do follow up with me, forwarding your initial email. Emails do get lost, and I don’t want to miss out on your query!